Fifteen years ago on the same date, 14th August the biggest blackout happened in the history of the United States. One reason, as it was explained
shortly, was tree branches interfered with power lines in Ohio, causing a massive chain reaction that affected over 60 million people in New York,
Detroit, Cleveland, Ottawa and Toronto. Later a second explanation stated a computer glitch and some personal mistakes were the reason for the
It was a regular summer day, the temperatures were in the 90’s, nothing out of the ordinary.
That changed at little over 4pm, when suddenly all power went out. No cellphone service, no internet, lights and traffic lights and worst of all no
While in most areas the power was restored within hours, other areas like New York City suffered the outage for over 30 hours or more.
At that time I’ve lived in Queens, New York in a small basement apartment with no windows. I still remember like it was yesterday, how happy I was,
as this crappy basement apartment was the very first place I rented on my own and how living myself without roomies was the best thing for me back
I also remember what I was doing at that moment, the power went out. I was sitting front of my laptop, on MSN Messenger chatting with my buddy,
planning the evening out. Already dressed to leave, just a final confirmation about where we gonna meet. Little I knew but those plans were scratched
I remember first thinking it might be my apartment only, but going out to the street to check on the building I soon realized this is something more
serious. There were no lights in the neighboring buildings, nor on the street as far as I could see.
Hours passed by and the only information we had was from the radios of the cars parked on our street and even that was very little. Lets not forget,
we only had 9/11 almost two years ago, and without proper news some people were a bit worried. But later on New Yorkers did what they always do, coped
with the situation. People started to grill their food on the streets, cars turned their radio on and the whole thing turned into a street party.
Some people were not as lucky, as they were stranded down in the Subway, many of them between stops. They had to be rescued and taken to the surface.
A lot of people had to spend the night on the streets with no way to get home, at Grand Central, Penn Station etc, and thousands of them had to walk
home, a walk that took hours.
While there was no reported lootings or any major crime, sadly, In New York City six deaths were reported: Two from carbon monoxide, two from fire,
one from a fall off a roof while breaking into a shoe store, and one from a heart attack after climbing stairs.
The next morning, still no power and people started to worry a bit more. Still it was an extra day of off work for most of us which softened the
situation slightly, also now, news came in of power restorations step by step so there was visible light in the end of the tunnel (pun intended).
Fortunately, around 7-8pm all lights suddenly came back without warning and the life in the City got back to normal…
As uncomfortable it was sometimes, I miss those years, best times in my life…
Were you affected? What is your story?
edit on 14-8-2018 by szino9 because: spelling